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Theander - The Peculiar Present Award winner

The Peculiar Present
by Dani Bandolier at 13 August 2020, 12:13 PM

“The Peculiar” is the new EP release from THEANDER (2008), a project for music man Andrée Theander from Härnösand in Sweden. While he has sung lead in previous projects, here Andrée steps out front as the main vocalist and changes his sound up from the rather West Coast orbits on earlier releases. “The Peculiar” is a songwriter’s expression with snippets of Andrée’s accomplished melodic guitar technique – ya mon, he play dem guitar.

Kille träffar tjej (guy meets babe) themed ‘Dare to Try’ is uplifting and uncomplicated with a showcase vibe that reminds me of wunderkind Tim Bergling, known to the world as Avicii - Out, out, brief candle! The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes. ‘Dare to Try’ sets the genre tonez for the release as well; this music would sit well on Adult Contemporary or even Adult Rhythm and Blues, a somewhat 90’s musical stop in the wayback machine but not really. 2nd song ‘The Peculiar Present’ lathers white boy soul like CHICAGO used to do so well, pasting guitar envelope-follower skronk, cracking horn parts and Andrée’s syrupy legato leads fermented in reverb – think Eric Johnson styled six-string shred.

‘Words I’ve Never Used’ sounds like a song that was cast off of an EXTREME album from the 1990’s, swimming against the rock currents but nevertheless classic rock. ‘What It’s Like to Cover’ has a country-fried funk-down with Mutt Lange styled backing vocal arrangements, arrangements you can hang a gold record on. I will tell you now and you can believe me later, Andrée’s voice is a ringer for the trumpeting 2nd alto of Lou Gramm, singer of 80’s rock powerhouse FOREIGNER. Bridal registry ‘Ready for Tomorrow’ shows this dude thinks a lot about life, love and positive mental vibes. If I could sing the song half as sincerely I would have a nice collection of trophy panties.

‘Sweet Alder’ high steps musically, letting loose butterfly lyrical guitar lines and is the lone instrumental to be found. ‘Train of Dreams’ is a song that Andrée digs into vocally while backing himself up with most excellent guitar accompaniment, pulling a punch on the lead while letting a quick string phrase hang fire – he knows when to let his guitar do the talking and when to play the song, a conscious decision on “The Peculiar”. ‘A Fool’s Idea of Glory’ boomerang channels Lou Gramm while peppering cowboy guitar chords with hopscotch string riffs leaving space for the final EJ styled guitar breakdowns to end this disc.

This songwriting on “The Peculiar” is quite direct and together with the Big Hit Sweden production à la Shellback and Max Martin connects readily with the listener. THEANDER as a band has a lot of talent on display but the focus is on  Andrée – his playing, his singing, his songs. Either played live, on a jukebox, a playlist or a movie soundtrack this music will get your attention. Have a listen, it rocks.

Ich denke ich bin verrückt und dani bandoliers Spotify liste der rezensierten bands…

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. Dare to Try
2. The Peculiar Present
3. Words I’ve Never Used
4. What It’s Like to Cover
5. Ready for Tomorrow
6. Sweet Alder
7. Mr. Mastermind
8. The Competition
9. Train of Dreams
10. A Fool’s Idea of Glory
Andrée Theander - Vocals, Guitar
Nate Barnes - Drums
Mikael Wikman - Drums
Johan Ludvig Rask - Percussion
Matts Alsberg - Bass
Lars Säfsund - Backing vocals
Agnes Rehn - Backing vocals
Ruslan Sirota - Keyboards
Sebastian Freij - Cello
Record Label: Independent


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